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The declaration of 2018 Annual closed season for all Marine Fleets held in Accra.

Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye ,the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) emphasized in her speech that, " the Ministry Of Fisheries and Aquaculture is mandated to formulate and implement policies and strategies to resolve the challenges facing the fishing sector in Ghana to support Government's efforts to achieve  :(1) national food security ,(2) employment creation, (3) poverty reduction and (4) transformation of the fisheries sector into a viable economic segment ".

In pursuance of Government's commitment to develop the Fisheries sector MoFAD is committed to formulate and implement  policies and strategies to resolve the challenges facing the fishing sector in Ghana as well as the development and sustainable management of the Fisheries Sector through scientific innovations and Policy Guidelines for efficient service delivery and contribute to the overall development of Ghana in line with Medium to Long term National Development Policy Frameworks,she said".

She added, "Ghana fisheries is largely driven by the nearshore artisanal fisheries which mainly target the small pelagic fisheries namely -the sardinella (kankama or antebo (GA) eban. Kankama (fante),  vitsumuyi /adruku (ewe), the Mackerel (samman (salmon), Ankwanguna (fante),ablotsikpokpokuvi(ewe) and Anchovies (popularly called Keta schoolboy or( Among)".

According to her, " these group of fishes (the small pelagics) can also be called the 'peoples fish ' or the 'poor man's'. They constitute over 80 percent of the landing of marine canoe fishermen. This is the fish that provides direct or indirect jobs to over 2.5 million of our countrymen and Women. Therefore this is fish for both the present future generations. This is the major fishery that is facing crisis".

Despite the decreasing fish Landings, the number of boats in the system continues to increase with over 13,000 artisanal canoes in our waters currently while in the year 2000 there were about 6,000 canoes. Also, there are over 80 Ghanaian flagged trawlers and over 300 semi-industrial boats in the fishery. While fishing affect is very high, catch per unit effort (rate of catching fish) is extremely low. The sector is faced with a crisis of over-capacity and overfishing of all stocks. The is compounded by various illegal fishing practices called IUU fishing".

Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye concluded, " the president of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has noted with concern the grievous and precarious situation and circumstances around the fisheries of Ghana and intends to implement policies and enforcement mechanisms that will restore the fisheries to it glory. To this end, His Excellency the President has directed that fishing for all fleets (with the exception of Tuna) should be closed for one month beginning in August 2018".

Source | | Kofi Dwumah

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